Mercedes to phase out manual gearboxes, cut engine range by 70 percent
STUTTGART - Like many traditional car companies, Mercedes-Benz is embarking on a huge electrification strategy that will see a flurry of new all-electric models entering the scene in the next few years, including the imminent EQS, EQE and EQA models.
However, to free up the funding necessary to develop these new models, some cuts need to be made and it appears that the manual gearbox will be the first casualty of this. This is according to a Tweet posted by Autocar’s Greg Kable, which stated: The head of @MercedesBenz's R&D operations, Markus Schaefer, has confirmed the company will ‘eliminate manual transmissions’ as part of cost-cutting initiatives that will also see a ‘substantial reduction in platforms’ and a ‘very dramatic reduction in combustion engines’.
In that regard, Automotive News Europe recently reported that the company was planning to cut its internal combustion variants by 40 percent by 2025 and by up to 70 percent by 2030, although at this stage there’s no indication of which units face the chop.
But will anyone really miss the manual gearbox in a Mercedes?
Manual gearboxes have already been eliminated from the company’s conventional car range in South Africa, although the Vito and X-Class can still be bought in manual guise. In Europe, buyers can still opt for an A-Class hatch with manual transmission, albeit likely not for long.
The truth is, with Mercedes pitching itself as more of a luxury brand than a maker of outright driver’s cars, the manual gearbox is not likely to be missed by many of its clients.
However, rivals that consider themselves to be sportier, such as BMW and Porsche, have not given up on the manual gearbox, with many purists being delighted at the fact that the upcoming M3 and M4 models will be offered in manual guise, albeit in the less powerful variant.